I’ve read about it, heard about it, and have even seen it on TV. Guy Fieri of Food Network’s “Drivers, Dine-ins and Dives” featured it on that show. The Town Talk Diner seems to have been the talk of the Twin Cities for as long as I’ve been paying attention to the metro dining scene (which, granted hasn’t been all that long, but whatever).
So when finally presented with the chance to try it, I was ecstatic.
I met my friend Melissa there right around 6pm. With all the buzz I’d heard, I expected it to be packed – especially seeing as I read online somewhere that they don’t ever take reservations. I walked in to find 2-3 people at the bar, and maybe 6 or so tables sat in the main dining area (leaving over half the restaurant empty).
The server was friendly, though a little slow. No worries though, we weren’t in any hurry. We didn’t do anything fancy for drinks – just a couple of beers.
Food: I avoided the overwhelming temptation to order the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Anytime this is a menu item at a restaurant, there’s a magnetic pull, drawing this Memphis-raised girl in. I could almost taste the coleslaw (ON the sandwich, thank you very much) and tender pork.
But I didn’t. I decided that if I was going to try something new, I needed to order something I hadn’t seen before, something I didn’t grow up on.
I picked the Bacon-Wrapped Pear Salad, and absolutely loved it. Four pear halves, each wrapped in perfectly cooked bacon, surrounded a mound of endive and mixed greens and was topped with bleu cheese dressing and sunflower seeds. Salty bacon, sweet pear and tangy Bleu cheese dressing were perfectly complementary flavors. There was enough of the bacon and pear goodness to last the whole salad, so it’s not like I got to the last bit of lettuce wishing for some more fruit and pork. Nope, it was perfectly portioned.
Melissa got the Grilled Cheese (cheddar, gruyere, avocados and tomatoes – yum!), but the key part of her dish was the Garlic Rosemary french fries. Oh. My. God. Those were perfect.
So, while I’m not a food writer or critic of any kind, I can tell you that I was happy with my meal, though still not quite sure what all of the hype is about for the place as a whole. Maybe I’m missing something or need to go for breakfast or brunch?
PS, Emily? The website mentions a bacon-infused bourbon on their drink list. I’m just sayin’.